Lies about 2 1/2 hours from Bangkok, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort is a newly opened IHG property that is taking its location’s long past to the next level — as a late 19th-century railway hub, Khao Yao ends connecting the northeast of Thailand with interesting destinations such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Singapore; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Yangon, Myanmar.
How do you ask? By upgrading heritage railcars transform those journeys into refreshing hotel suites that pay homage to the glory days of train travel.
Designer Bill Bensley (head of the company behind InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort) has salvaged train carriages from across Thailand, many of which have been abandoned for 50 years, according to IHG, and breathed new life into them to create 19 suites and villas, among other amenities. like restaurants, bars and even a spa.
Featuring 19 rooms (now available for reservation), each room and villa celebrates a classic destination each carriage may have traveled, both in name and design. The suites, all at least 500 square feet, recall the bygone days of luxury train travel.
In some rooms, rich wood paneling and gold wall sconces evoke the feeling of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”, while others are decorated in bright red and blue. dark. Each room features Thai silk from Thailand’s Jim Thompson that carefully reflects the room’s destination, as well as ornate panels, wallpaper, and ambient backlighting to create the illusion that the carriages are moving. move.
Each suite or villa also has a bathroom, walk-in closet, and outdoor space, though your best bet here is to choose one of the villas with pools. That’s right, a train and a swimming pool. Available in one- and two-bedroom configurations, these villas range in size from approximately 1,250 square feet to 2,400 square feet. But if you can’t find a dream pool villa, the resort sits on a lake and has its own pool so there are still plenty of opportunities to soak in the water.
While there are only 19 suites and villas, 45 more train-inspired rooms (including those with bunk beds) are located in the main building that opened earlier this year.
At Poirot restaurant, guests can enjoy a French-themed menu aboard one of the luxury carriages, with popular dishes such as French onion soup with grilled bone marrow, Gruyere cheese and boeuf bourguignon (beef) braised Australian wagyu). And for a truly age-old first-class experience, a cocktail cart will stir and shake cocktails right at the table.
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In the adjoining carriage, the Papillon (which means butterfly in French) serves classic French cocktails along with a menu of champagne, whiskey and fine wines.
And no luxury vacation is complete without a little pampering, which is why a stop at the resort’s spa, Back on Track, is 100% essential. Also housed in a heritage train carriage, four treatment rooms are available for services ranging from traditional Thai full-body massages to sea salt bath experiences from the coast of Thailand to hair care and even and special therapies for children.
How to order
Prices at InterContinental Khao Yai Resort start as low as $140, or $23,000 IHG One Rewards spots, per night in the main building, while Heritage Train suites and villas start at around $250. In multiple prize searches, the only rooms available to book with points were the standard room, not the Heritage Train.
When booking, make sure to choose a room titled “Heritage Train” as all rooms look like trains, as shown in the photo below.
And for villas with pools, you’ll pay up to $445 a night for the one-bedroom option and easily over $1,400 a night for the two-bedroom option.